The Rapture

The Rapture has been floating atop a steamship of media hype; its debut album, Echoes, could sweep this young New York-based band over the top and into an ultra-mainstream echelon (instead of just recognition from pop stars gagging to work with them and their British-born producers, DFA). Though sounding derivative of everything from Eighties modern-rock acts like the Cure to Chicago house music, they've managed to convince snobs from both ends of the spectrum to feel like they're trying something new.

The Rapture's signature song, "House of Jealous Lovers," is an enduring hit at fickle rock and dance clubs of all sorts, and the album leads off with "Olio" and "Heaven," two songs that are nearly as catchy. But the genre walls smashed down by "Jealous Lovers" seem to have paved the way for more of the same instead of new ideas and concepts. Still Echoes is meant to be the ultimate chocolate-and-peanut-butter combination of dance and rock; it sticks to that mandate, ensuring that it will probably satisfy a lot of listeners.

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Tamara Palmer